Thompson/Haye: The calm before the storm!

07.09.04 - There was a tangible air of respect at todayís head-to-head press conference to promote Friday nightís IBO cruiserweight title clash between Carl Thompson and undefeated challenger David Haye at Wembley Arena. The battle between two of the cruiserweight divisionís biggest punchers has got everyone talking and both combatants were under no illusions about the strength of their heavy-hitting adversary.

ďIíve watched Carl for years,Ē said the undefeated Haye, 10-0 (10). ďI am a big fan of his, my whole family is. When I got the opportunity to fight him, I took it straight away. I donít feel I need another 10 or 15 fights before I fight someone as dangerous as Carl. I know the dangers. I know if I make any mistakes and, he lands one of his knockout punches, I will be unconscious, thereís no query about that. Heís one of the biggest cruiserweight punchers in the world, if not the biggest cruiserweight puncher in the world. Thatís what makes me excited, getting in the ring with someone who can take me out at any opportunity. So Iíve got to bring the best out of myself and I want my back against the wall. I want to get in the ring with someone who I know could beat me. Carlís the ideal opponent for that danger. At any point Carl can knock you out and thatís why Iíve got a lot of respect for him. Iíve trained harder than Iíve ever trained for a fight and Iím ready for 12 hard rounds. I feel I am ready for the best cruiserweights - Jean Marc Mormeck, Kelvin Davis, Wayne Braithwaite and OíNeill Bell - right now, so why hang round?Ē

ďHe reminds me a bit of myself,Ē said IBO champion Thompson, 32-6 (24). ďHeís got a true heart and he comes fight and comes to win. Iím sure David Haye hasnít taken me for granted. Believe me, this isnít an old guy. I give David full respect. Iím sure everyone knows what kind of fight itís going to be. Itís going to be hard and we know the fightís not going to go all the way. So may the best man win and pray to God all be safe at the end of the day. I donít believe in giving up. Thatís why if Iím behind going into the 11th or 12th round, I still believe I can win. If I didnít think I could beat David Haye, I wouldnít bother fighting him. Iím very lucky to be one of these people who can continue (with their career). Everyone knows that Iím not the greatest boxer. I never claimed to be. But, I tell you one thing, (with my punch) I believe I have a 50-50 chance with any of the worldís best cruiserweights.Ē

Tickets: Wembley Box Office credit card hotline 0870 060 0870 or 020 8445 7864. Prices: £25, £40, £75 and £100 (ringside). Doors open 6.15pm, first bell 6.30pm.

Article posted on 07.09.2004

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